The sural nerve (also known as the short saphenous nerve) is a sensory nerve, which means it conveys sensory messages. Damage or compression of the sural nerve can result in burning pain and diminished sensation or loss of sensation (numbness).
This nerve passes down from the back of the knee along the outside of the lower leg. It's located along the surface of the lower one-third of the leg. It passes along the outer bone of the ankle, just behind the malleolus (ankle bone). Then it goes along the outside edge of the heel to the base of the fifth (baby) toe.
Injury usually occurs along the superficial portion where it is closer to the skin and more likely to be crushed or compressed. It supplies the skin and soft tissues along the lower third of the lower leg with sensory function. Tingling, burning pain, or loss of sensation anywhere along this pathway suggests a sural nerve injury.